Today started slow with sightings few and far between. We watched Orcas surface for no more than 4 breaths before taking another dive and leading us on our cat and mouse game again. As this continued into the afternoon, we had almost lost hope and were looking to head back early, but just as we were heading back passing through the canyon for the last time we heard a call from the crows nest (top of the boat). SURGING ORCA 3 O’clock! We reefed the boat back around and pointed it towards them steaming back into the canyon. We pulled up behind the pod of 12 and followed them as they surged through the water. Struggling to keep up we watched in awe as they began porpoising right out of the water giving us a clear view of their entire body. We knew it was on, they were hunting and something deep down in the canyon was breathing it’s last.
They tapered off their speed and we slowed down as they took a dive. We wondered if they’d lost it. A few Orcas re surfaced taking a few breaths and swapping with others in the deep water, but we knew it wasn’t over as huge flock of Shearwaters came storming in overhead. The Shearwaters joined by a Gannet watched the Orcas, waiting for any signs of a kill. Then, just as it happens the Orcas began thrashing their tails and jostling below the surface forcing themselves deeper and deeper. We wondered if they’d made the kill, exploring all the possibilities of their behaviour and then we saw it. They surfaced with a beaked whale. Tearing the flesh in front of our passengers watching on the bow and releasing a pool of blood into the water. We had just witnessed a predation, our apex predators in action, killing what appeared to be a juvenile Gray beaked whale. Unable to get a sample but satisfied with the footage and photos of the day we made our way back into shore debriefing on the incredible ending to an otherwise slow day.
Stay tuned for pics of the predation.
As always unexpected in the canyon